World Records for Rope Climbing

Sources and Links:
Dale Harder: Strength & Speed Record Book
Police Gazette Sporting Annual (various editions)
Spalding's Athletic Almanac (various editions) for the statistic of Czech contests
Volker Kluge: Olympische Sommerspiele, Die Chronik, Bd. I
More about the history of rope climbing can be found here.

If you have information about historic records that are missing in these statistics or are interested in setting a world record (in one of the mentioned categories or a new one), please contact us at

Rope climbing used to be an Olympic event in 1986, 1904, 1906, 1924 and 1932. In the USA, it was considered as a gymnastic event by the Amateur Athletic  Union and the NCAA.
Contests on high school, college and national level took place until the early 60's. From 1888-1962, rope climbing was part of the national AAU championships. In the Czech Republic, modern contests started in 1992. In Germany, rope climbing is one of several categories in what is called maritime sports.


  1. Competitors start from a seated position on the floor with legs outstretched directly under the rope. The rope hangs freely and does not have knots.
  2. The attempt starts by a start signal. Time is taken when the climber reaches the top. (Note: The Czech contests for 8 m and 14 m have self-starts instead of a start signal - which produces faster times)
  3. The legs must neither be used for climbing nor for getting momentum by pushing off the floor.
  4. When reaching the top, the climbers have to touch an electrinic measurement device. In the past, they had to ring a bell or touch a panel covered with soot (and had to present their fingertips as  a proof that they reached the top).


5.41 sec
Lenka Trnková (TCH)
Prague, 1998


7.7 sec
Alicia Weber (USA)
1 April 2011 in Clermont, Florida, USA


8.3 sec
Alicia Weber (USA)
9 April 2011 in Clermont, Florida, USA

18 FEET [5.486 METRES], MALE

5.2 sec
B. Sanford (USA)
2 April 1892
3.6 sec
Edward Kunath (USA)
AAU Championships, Jersey City, Mar. 25, 1902

20 FEET [6.096 METRES], MALE

Times before 1948 are missing - any help in completing the statistics is welcome!

4.1 sec

3.8 sec
Thomas Gucker III (USA)
3.1 sec
Don Perry (USA)
Sanford Werner (USA)
5 January 1948 in Los Angeles, California, USA
5 April 1951 in Detroit, Michigan, USA
2.9 sec
Don Perry (USA)
4 February 1950, Pasadena, California, USA
2.8 sec
Don Perry (USA)
Robert Manning (USA)
Paul Davis (USA)
Garvin S. Smith (USA)
NCAA Championships, Champaign, Illinois 3 April 1954
AAU Championships 1958
NCAA Championships 1962
SPAAU Senior Gymnastics Finals 1958


12.68 sec
Bonnie Burrow (USA)
June 2008 in Van Nuys, California, USA
10.6 sec
Alicia Weber (USA)
9 April 2011 in Clermont, Florida, USA


6.6 sec
Edward  Kunath (USA)
17 March 1899
5.6 sec
Edward  Lindenbaum (USA)
in New York, 12 February 1914


times between 1901 and 1947 are missing - any help in completing the statistics is welcome!
6.8 sec
B. F. Sanford (USA)
Edward Kunath (USA)

6.6 sec
Edward Kunath (USA) AAU Championships in New York, 17 March 1899
6.4 sec
Edward Kunath (USA)
Sept. 1, 1901 in New York
4.7 sec
Garvin S. Smith (USA)
19 April 1947 in Los Angeles
unofficial times:
4.2 sec Garvin S. Smith (USA), National AAU Championships 1947 in Los Angeles
4.1 s Garvin S. Smith,  at the SPAAU Senior Gymnastics Finals
3.9 sec Don Perry, May 1948 in Los Angeles


7.2 sec
Bedřich Šupčík (TCH)
Olympic Games in Paris, 20 July 1924
6.7 sec
Raymond Henry ("Benny") Bass (USA)
Olympic Games in Los Angeles, 10 August 1932
5.58 sec
Martin Masár (SVK)
Prague, 15 June 1997
5.30 sec
Aleš Novák (TCH) VIDEO
Bedřich Šupčík Memorial, Sokol Příbram, 21 March 2009
5.22 sec
Aleš Novák (TCH) Czech Championships in Olomouc, 5 December 2009
4.87 sec
Aleš Novák (TCH) VIDEO
Czech Championships in Olomouc, 5 December 2009


12.02 sec
Lenka Trnková (TCH)
Prague, 1999

35 FEET [10.668 METRES], MALE

11.8 sec
Edward  Lindenbaum (USA)
2 May 1914


Nikolaos Andriakopoulos (GRE) won the Olympic rope climbing on a 14 metres rope on 10 April 1896 in Athens in 23.4 seconds.

15.44 sec
Josef Křivánek (TCH)
Příbram, 2002
15.28 sec
 Martin Matĕj (TCH) Nové Město nad Metují, 24 June 2006
15.07 sec
Štěpán Muchka (TCH) Nové Město nad Metují, 24 June 2006
14.76 sec
Štěpán Muchka (TCH) Nové Město nad Metují, 24 June 2006
14.61 sec
Štěpán Muchka (TCH)
Nové Město nad Metují, 28 June 2009
14.03 sec
Aleš Novák (TCH)
Nové Město nad Metují, 27 June 2010


length of the rope: 5 metres

18.7 m
Daniel Fuertes Olles (ESP)
for a Guinness TV show, Madrid 25 May 2006
19.2 m
Javier Fernandez Mora (ESP)
for a Guinness TV show, Beijing, 22 June 2009
27.8 m
Marcus Bondi (AUS) VIDEO
for a Guinness TV show, Sydney,  31 January 2010


15.0 m
Alicia Weber (USA)
9 April 2011 in Clermont, Florida, USA

100 x 30 FEET, MALE

10:56 hours
Sgt. Sam Sheriff (GBR)
14 December 2010 in the gymnasion at 45 Commando Royal Marines in Arbroath, Scotland

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